World best dogs deserve worlds best care

Author: Fredrik Ljone Holst/Anna Helena Stoller     Photo: Stepan Hon     Publish date: 04.02.14 13:02

Jerry Vanek is a musher, who went over to be a race veterinarian. The American is in Røros for the fifth time and looks at  it as a privilege to work with the "word best athletes".

- I had huskies by my self all life long, and i was racing sprint for about 10 years, tells Vanek. He is not competing any more, but always out with the team and his clients.

- All my client home are dog sledding kennels, so it can happen, that I run both either experienced or joung dogs together with them, says the American, who changed preoccupation and became a veterinarian in 1992

Changing profession, not side

Since then he has been on many different races, lots of them in Scandinavia. This year it will be five races in total here up north, excluding one in Czechia. With some performances in between, he will be in Europe in two month this season.

But even if he did change profession and in sted of getting, giving medical advices, it does not feel like changeing side. Same as all the other veterinarians we have been talking to, is he occupated of the animals welfare is teamwork between musher and veterinarians.

Is her to support the mushers 

- We don´t want to act as police who penetates the mushers. We are here to suppoet them to get as many dogs as possible in good helth in to the finish. If the mushers are getting tired, we help them to make the right desicions.

Jerry says, that animals welfare is generelly quite good in races, but there still are some differences between the mushers.

- It´s a lot about experience, and there are some with more talent then others with in this topic. But we never witness any abuse of dogs. Though can we see some wrong desicions, but that´s how it is in every fields. Mushers are also humans and can be wrong too. Even the cleverest can make a mistake some time in between, says the experienced veterinarian and underlines again that he sees many examples done by mushers to take good care of theirs dogs.

Each time ny challanges

Vanek thinks, the dogs have been good looking this year, but you never know what is coming up next.

- It´s variating from race to race and year to year, especially because the weather condition can be so different. Last year, there was stong wind on the Femunden, that´s why we had a lot of red eyes, but not this year.

He also mentiones, that there have been almost no shoulder, joint or back problems this year. 

- There has almost been none of these serious injuries, that any one had to stop the race. We had some muscle problems in the middle of the race caused by the challanging trail conditions this year, but not in the finish, explanes the veterinarian veteran, who was absolutly happy with the this years development.

- We are working with the world best athletes. These dogs have an amazing talent to provide and to recover.